Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ultimate Bet Suffers Bot Attack

Ah, the sad life of an American-based poker bot in these post-UIGEA days when the software's tweaked and ready to go, but that land of minimal internal control and endless opportunity, Party Poker, is suddenly beyond reach. Where then, for these lost electronic sheep to go?

Seems like one of the places bots have turned up recently was in the 30/60 limit games at Ultimate Bet, where as many as 50 different bots, likely under the controls of juts one or two real-life thiefs, may have worked over the limit hold'em games centering on the 30/60 level. The poker forum at the European site has a full unfolding of the table, including the fact that the suspect accounts have all disappeared --- or been removed --- in the last week. The accounts were identified by an astute player using Poker Tracker who noticed that a large number of his opponents exhibited not only the same patterns and strategies of play, when compiled in a statistical manner, but did some things in a repeated manner that no human players would do.

Check this link and read for yourself --- it's an interesting tale.

Okay, it happened before the UIGEA was signed, but why let little things like the flow of time ruin a good lead-in? Besides, it doesn't change the fact that at least in this one instance, UB seems ripe for bot plundering. Given that these and other bot groups have been identified through post-play PokerTracker analysis, why is it that the sites themselves aren't running a corporate-sized version of PokerTracker or an equivalent, looking for the same sort of play-pattern clustering that helped identify these bots to one of the victimized players?

It's certainly doable, and any responsible site should be checking for strategic clustering of this sort. I suspect that Poker Stars already does this, and perhaps some other sites do as well, but in this day and age of electronic mnipultion it should be a mandatory part of what any operator does to provide a fair and responsible poker site.

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